As I create, I wonder….

October 31, 2014

…I begin to wonder, especially with the first sock. I wonder about the personality the sock will take on. I know what the sock is supposed to look like, I know how it’s supposed to look, but it still has its own way of resembling the pictures. Its almost as if a little of me gets mixed with the pattern.

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It’s beginning to look like a sock

I see the pattern emerge, and I wonder about the life this sock will take on after it leaves the needles. There will, of course, be the waiting period as I finish Christmas gifts and the other pink sock. But that day will come when I finish it, and if its a nice enough day, they will get their first photo taken on my front porch with my feet posed to show off the work.

I wonder how the pattern will emerge from the stockinette stitch in the round  as I knit. Right now, the pattern is only on the second needle and lies flat, even with the increases and decreases giving this pattern its design. I won’t know how it really looks until my foot stretches it out.

009Two Dimensional Sock Pattern

It leaves me curious and still wondering, will this sock’s first wearing be into a classroom with a snazzy matching jacket and shirt I bought the yarn to pair with, or will it be for a day off where I match it with a t-shirt and run errands in them because I’m too excited to wait for school. Or will it be just in time for my first day as a Pharmacy Technician at a new job, for which I am studying now.

My curiosity must be contagious as well, since most of the cats have visited the knitting at one point or another tonight, just to see where the sock had gotten to(Maeve and Putzer-who would not pose for the camera) if the yarn was tasty, and if the point protectors were good for eating or simply for scenting (Squib, who also refused to pose for the camera) and Scamp walked across my lap and left since my hands were too busy to pet her tonight.

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Maeve, inspecting my knitting

Once my dear boyfriend surprised me by coming home early, Briannag took a turn on my lap, trying to impede the knitting just to see if she could. She can be stubborn like that, then she refused to lift her head for a good photo. I almost asked my dear James to try his hand at a photo, but he is not as particular as I am, which means it must be set up really well before I hand him the camera…

005 Briannag, Trying to keep me from completing my knitting, or using me as a comfy head rest…for now…

Alas, soon, only five or six more sections of repeats for the foot and toe, and we will get to see the sock in its completion. Perhaps I should make it a point to finish two repeats in a week, so long as I can get some semi-secret Christmas sewing done, too.

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…(or not knit) as I strive to be Wonder Woman. I just finished up mid-terms. My schedule changes next week, immediately after another exam. My car just cost me too much money, and prompted me to take on a third grade class today. The third grade class (during my normal sleep time) happened to include my little sister. I hadn’t gotten much knitting done this week. I wanted to be finished with the gusset decreases and begin on the instep. I like the instep, usually. Not only am I over half done, but I’m getting there, depending on how many times I have to repeat the 8 row pattern on needle two until I get to the toes.

Now back to the sock. I got to it after a cat nap….or a puppy and kitty pile on. I laid down on the couch, only to have one 80 pound dog snuggle between me and the back of the couch, a decently hefty cat claim my hip, and another one taste test my hair. Thankfully, the second 80 pound dog stayed asleep on the floor. Though he’s been known to take the spot on the hip and acts like a heavy body pillow when he wants attention. Once I got up from my nap and poured a beverage, Zeus had moved from the floor to the corner of the couch I planned to use. Bri had found the folds of the blanket I was using, and once I got started, Squib needed to inspect the point protectors thoroughly and then Scamp had some bag and lag adventures. I have pictures of some. If they turned out, you may only have to image the napping scenario.

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Scamp pretending to ignore the knitting(on left); Squib, curious about my knitting, or Scamp (on right).

I sat down and began knitting in the pattern, thankfully remembering where I left off before. I wondered at the pattern and myself as I knit. I make a fair amount of mistakes, and I don’t get much time to knit when I should be studying the Controlled Substances Act of 1987(I think), and HIPAA(I think). I’d better check that out soon. Alas, I was wondering about knitting, this is a blog about knitting, right?

So, I knit the pattern on the gusset decrease as I was instructed at first. But I knit the needles in the wrong order and had to frog and re-knit a couple of times to get this right. As I knit the pattern, I realized I was technically two stitches off from the top of foot pattern. I changed the way I knit the pattern on needle two to “Knit” (follow the pattern) for the first two stitches, then begin with the purling for the next two stitches. It looks nicer.

 035 See, real sock progress…only I’m not sure if Wonder Woman knit…

It does have the issue of two decreases in a row sometimes. Since a lace sock will have a negative ease, I think it will be okay. I haven’t noticed any major issue yet, it just won’t look as perfectly centered in the end, but unless you’re reading this blog, or managed to knit this pair of socks better than I, how will anyone know? So, I will be Wonder Woman for now, as I want to finish these six rows and take photos and say I did it. Sometime in December, perhaps I will take a night off from it all, likely around the 28th, depending on when the family celebrates Christmas this year. In the meantime, if I could find a work appropriate Wonder Woman costume for an affordable price, I might be inclined to gussy up and look like a red-headed Amazon.

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Briannag, checking my work on left; Zeus, snuggling on the right.

For now, I’m content to share pictures and knit. I did it. I finished the gusset, mostly. I have one more stitch decrease to work into the first row of the instep. For now, though, I will simply post the photographic evidence and hope for decent photos. Soon, I will be ready to more on to the toe, however, I have to work on a super secret fantasy quilt still…wish me luck, and someone stop the countdown to Christmas, please;-)

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Scamp is still more interested in me petting her instead of making socks. Who can blame her?

Where I Want To Be…

October 17, 2014

…is not where I am. I’ve made progress this week, even decent progress. But somehow, I thought that after a week of mid-terms and work, I really believed I’d feel like knitting this week. In addition to the mid-term stress, my work schedule is being changed. That appointment was today, with a calculations mid-term on which I did not use my calculator. It was a lot of multiplication, but I suspect the three or four questions I missed were set-up, not actual figuring of math. I follow lacy knitting patterns and charts. Said charts make multiplication look easy.

 001 Words of the wise: Make peace with your project….It’s pretty and I’ve still made progress.

In addition, Scamp is boycotting knitting. The good news is she no longer runs off with the yarn because its there, at least not lately. The bad news is that when I try to knit, she either tries to push the knitting off my lap or snuggle in, but will not rest and let me knit while she tries to sleep. And she is most content to sleep on my lap when the knitting is not close enough to reach. I call it a boycott. I haven’t asked her what her term is for it yet. Perhaps its more of a refusal to acknowledge my knitting. Currently, I only know that my lap is really there for her to clean her toes. Cats, what can you do?

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Scamp still shows a little interest in the sewing projects, perhaps its the smell of “mom’s” house.

Since I’m a bit tired this night, I let her win. I knit two rows, and may get two more rows done tonight out of sheer determination. I’d like to “see” more progress. In order to “see” more progress, one must knit. So, midterms aside, schedule changes amidst, I did make progress of an entire section of the pattern I am knitting into the gusset as I decrease. I even finished over one-third of the gusset, or ten rows over the past week. I just wanted to be closer to half-done.

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Not my best photo, but here is the gusset looking like an alien hoodie…

Perhaps, with three classes, two large tests, part-time work, cats, and gift quilting and knitting, I was asking a bit much and Scamp was right, that sometimes you need to simply sit upon your duff and pet the kitten who thinks you are knitting entirely too much.

Knitting In Reverse

October 10, 2014

So, sometimes, you just have to do what the pattern says…I think. And sometimes, it helps to remember which needle is #1 and which is #3…. I’m also wondering if I will need to rip out more of this darned sock.. This is not my favorite activity, and Squib, the munchkin has decided he currently likes the point protectors I keep on the needles.

I knit the first two rows of the gusset…I had one word for it, distinctive. I wanted to see how distinctive it would turn out, which included doing what the pattern says. Instead, I got the needles backwards. It looked like I was purling. I really dislike not realizing which needle is meant to be which. I’m hoping I don’t have to rip out any more rows, at this point. Two rows is enough for me to frog.

004Squib has refused photographic evidence of his point protector transgressions…I’ll try next time to get it.

(The point protectors are the little green rubber triangles on the end)

The good news is that I remembered a sock knitting tutorial I have utilized and recommended before. I visited Silver’s Sock Knitting Class for one sock on dpn’s at www.cometosilver.com. I really need to donate more money to this site, and may do so once my check is deposited into my account. I likely use it for every sock I make. It’s my way of saying, “Thank you for your help.”

I confirmed that I had confused my needles and may have to rip out another part of my stitches as well, but it should be a partial part. And one day, I will learn to follow the pattern to the letter and consult Silver’s Sock Knitting class before I begin knitting the gusset.

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Not quite where I was supposed to be going with this…More sock next week.

I like distinctive socks; I’m just not quite comfortable with the getting there. Once I see it work a different way, and this pattern is slightly different, I will likely enjoy the result. However, in the meantime, I sit here and think It’s not quite supposed to work this way. Will it work?  All the while, I’m considering simply knitting what I know.

But I like this pattern. I chose this pattern. When I finish, I want to see beautiful socks that closely resemble what these were meant to be. I don’t want to look at these socks and say, “I chickened out when it came to doing something different.” If that was me, I wouldn’t have left knitting scarves. I may never have continued with knitting, or with many other points in my life that proposed challenges.

But those challenges are the ones that often show me the durability of the yarn and knitting of which I am made. Now, to begin this gusset, correctly; so I may show you how distinctive it really is. However, as I tried to re-knit the rows I had already frogged once, I realized I was making the same mistake again. At this time, it seems, I am too tired to continue on with this gusset. However, Sunday is coming, but so are mid-terms. I will make time to knit a couple of rows and talk more of this “distinctive” gusset and how it is created.

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Scamp helping me “frog.”

In the meantime, I will finish petting Scamp, who has determined she needs attention and try to keep Squib from chewing on the point protectors. Just when you think they’re getting old enough to leave your knitting be, they remind you they still embrace their inner kittens.

Beginning A Periscope

October 3, 2014

Yes, yes, you heard me right. Beginning a periscope is the title. Some days, you need a little different perspective in order to move on. One long, tough week led into another week of studying and getting back to where I was comfortable in my classes and memorizing a lot of info about a multitude of laws that affect my future profession. In addition, I’d finally slowed down enough that everyone else’s immune system caught up with mine and bullied it into submission. I’m not dying in bed in submission, but paying attention in class and dealing poker were both difficult.

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Zeus puppy taking mom’s knitting seat and pillow

Okay, poker is tough on a good day with behaving players (one reason I prefer to deal tournaments), but its even tougher when you wish you’d stayed home in bed. And by my first break, I did. So, I came into today looking like I was going to have another week of little progress. Then I remembered the periscope shape the sock takes on when you turn the heel. I’m still working with the heel. But the chicken is in the oven, and I’m getting through the heel tonight, since I still have some energy.

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Briannag puppy taking over knitting seat and pillow

Even though my knitting seat on the couch has become the most popular seat in the house, with full claim laid to the back pillow I use, I’m still working through the heel to make the periscope, because socks always look (and feel) better if they were once a periscope. At least, my socks do;-). So, back to the heel I go as the rain begins and the chicken cooks in the oven and makes the house smell a bit like celery….I can tell which vegetable is smallest and cooking first.

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Zeus puppy taking over my knitting seat and pillow again, since I’m not feeding him chicken…

In the time the chicken has taken to cook, plus a little extra; I have knit the heel, finally. It does seem as if this sock is taking the scenic route to completion. However, the dogs did enjoy some cuddle time. Scamp did not join me today, but she chooses not to argue with the dogs about cuddle time.

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Sock progress so far….soon it will be a periscope!

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Okay, so, I’m really not into selfies, mostly. But when Zeus snuggled up with me as I was getting back to the sock once again, I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Yes, I got puppy kisses once the picture was snapped;-)